Patrons will enjoy a new location with more parking, now on Wednesdays as well as Saturdays.

(25 May 2012 - Alton, IL) – The Alton Farmers' & Artisans' Market starts on Saturday, June 2nd at a new location for the 2012 season, in the parking lot at the corner of 9th Street & Piasa St. (US Hwy 67). Organizers have also added a second day; the Market will now be open every Wednesday evening from 4-7pm in addition to the usual Saturday mornings from 8am-Noon, through October 13th.

Shoppers will find a wide selection of locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, including heirloom varieties and organically grown crops. Along with produce, fresh cut flowers, potted plants, grass-fed meat, local honey, fresh bread and other baked goods, handmade soap, and a large assortment of hand-crafted artwork such as pottery, stained glass and woodworking items will be available.

Alton Main Street organizes the market, which has been in operation for approximately 18 years. “We are very excited to be moving to this great new location that offers double the parking, all on flat ground,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director, “We are installing signage to lead shoppers from the old location to the new one, and since we’re relocating just under a mile away on the same road, we are confident that everyone will be able to find us.”

Sarah Ansell, a member of the Main Street Board of Directors who is an artist that participates in the Market herself, has stepped into the Chairperson role in order to help manage the increasing logistical details and marketing that is needed. “We are being inundated with calls and emails from vendors inquiring about details, which is wonderful,” said Ansell, “We are always looking for more variety of products that are homegrown and handmade.” Registration fees are $10 for Saturdays and $5 for Wednesdays; anyone who would like to receive a vendor registration form is encouraged to call Alton Main Street at 463-1016.

The market is a fun, easy, and responsible way for citizens to shop for healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are at their freshest and most nutritious when purchased locally, and the most environmentally, economically and socially responsible way to purchase your food is through local growers at the Farmers’ Market. Main Street also has plans underway for a mural at the new site.

Live entertainment and special activities have been scheduled for every Saturday throughout the season. The Community Cultivators will provide nature crafts, and Jacoby Arts Center will provide “Arts in the Park” activities. Starting in July, Senior Services Plus will be distributing Senior Nutrition Coupons at the Market, which are vouchers for $21 worth of free produce to seniors 60+ who fit income guidelines.

The event has a new facebook page that can be found at: www.facebook.com/AltonFarmersMarket, where the public can be updated on what produce is in season and receive reminders on upcoming entertainment and activities. For more information on this project and other ways that Alton Main Street is working to revitalize downtown Alton, please visit www.AltonMainStreet.org.

2012 CALENDAR:

6/2 - Live music from the Dreamcatcher Project & Nature Craft: Seed Science, Plant Parts, and Fruit vs.Veggie Olympics!

6/9 - Nature Crafts: Create your very own 'Nature Sombrero'

6/16 - Southern IL Healthcare Foundation Health Fair, Face Painting & Nature Craft: Game Day! 

6/23 - Community Supported Agriculture & Urban Gardening Day, plus Nature Craft: Create a House for a Bee, Bat, Bird, Butterfly, Bug or Worm!

6/30 - Artist Demo: Pottery Wheel & Nature Craft: Create a model insect friend using natural resources and real insect specimens...including a real live vermicomposting community! 

7/7 - Live Music from Deja Too & Summer Recipe Day

7/14 -  Celebrity Chef Jarvis Putnam of Bossanova Restaurant & Lounge

7/21 - Christmas in July - visit w/ Santa while he's on vacation from the North Pole!

7/28 - “Arts in the Park” (10-11:30) - Shining Suns- Understand symmetry by fashioning your own sunburst

8/4 - Live Music from The Waters Trifecta, Celebrity Chef - Keith Davis from Southern Girls BBQ; “Arts in the Park” (10-11:30) - Texture Building- Embellish drawn buildings with  an assortment of different textures

8/11 - National Farmers Market Day & “Arts in the Park” (10-11:30) - Three-Dimensional Landscapes- Create a vast mountainous landscape enhanced by lifelike texture

8/18 - “Arts in the Park” (10-11:30) - Pigment Art- Use natural dyes and pigments to make a masterpiece

8/25 - Celebrity Chefs - Laurie & Geo from Chez Marilyn & Face painting

9/1 - Live Music from Justin Georgewitz

9/8 - Environmental Educators Day

9/15 - Fall Recipe Day

9/22 - Customer Appreciation Day & Artist Demo: Paper-Making

9/29 - Composting Workshop w/ the McCully Heritage Project &The Nature Institute

10/6 - Live Music from Andrew Craft & Friends, plus Make-Your-Own Tie Dye Day (bring your own shirt—$5 fee)

10/13 - Pumpkin painting, get yours on-site - painting supplies will be provided!

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